Mike’s Southside

I would like to reintroduce to you kind folks to an old favorite of mine that you might know as Calhoun’s. It is a local sauce that I have absolutely loved from first taste. If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, that is okay because this saucy treat now goes by a new name, one that is a little more descriptive: Southside Mike’s BBQ.


Since this fabulous product is made and prospers here in our own backyard, it is likely that you have seen Mike standing in front of a delicious smelling grill at events like the Farmer’s Market. Some of you may have even experienced his chicken wings slow roasted to perfection and drenched in the sweet-hot flavor of a homemade sauce. Inspired by his home town, Mike has mastered the Chicago-style BBQ.

Southside Mike’s is so versatile that I use it on everything from green beans to beef. It is irresistible on pork and chicken, which I feel it compliments best, but is also a fabulous steak sauce or vegetable marinade.

I know Mike well from his promotions at my store. At our Earth Day event, he draws one and all over to the sidewalk as he mans a smoky BBQ full of chicken wings marinated with Southside Sauce. In the fall he hangs out inside the store with the meat department, serving samples of turkey out of a giant crock pot with only a couple onions needed for flavor. He douses the cooked meat with his sauce upon serving, using it as a finishing touch (since the sugars in it have a tendency to burn under high heat).

Mike told me an anecdote once that has always stuck – about the goals he set when creating his business plan. He was participating in a class to develop his mission as an entrepreneur. On the form it asked what his vision was for the fulfillment of this product. His response to the question was:

I want my product to be the next ketchup; I want it to be a household staple; I want it to be in every one’s fridge.

Well, I don’t often have ketchup in my house, but what I do ALWAYS have is Southside Mike’s BBQ sauce, so his mission is alive and well in my home, heart & belly. I recommend you give it a try. It is this simple: don’t eat your meat without it!


Casey Kemp gets her inspiration as the fromager of Eureka Natural Foods. Born in Baltimore to a couple of health educators, she graduated from Colorado State with an advanced Bachelors degree in Photo Image Making. As a writer and photographer, Casey expresses her enthusiasm for wellness through the theme of local, artisan-style food. Since finding Humboldt, there has been no lack of inspiration. You can reach her at kempcase@gmail.com


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